A photo of a water body with ducks swimming and with vegetation nearby

Department of
Humanities and Social Sciences

Photo of Pushkar   Sohoni

Pushkar Sohoni

Associate Professor and Chair, Humanities and Social Sciences

Humanities and Social Sciences

Architecture, Historic Preservation, History of Architecture and Art, Numismatics, Indo-Persian Studies, Material Culture, Medieval and Modern History, Languages and Scripts


Pushkar Sohoni received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010 for his research on the Deccan sultanates, after which he was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia. He worked at his alma mater till 2016, when he joined IISER Pune.


Comprehending architecture as a language and language as artefact is at the heart of several of my research projects. Material culture often tells a different story of past societies than textual sources. Architecture is one of the most articulated expressions of material culture, reflecting not just the aspirations and aesthetics of society, but also economic and social realities. The study of historic architecture can be a rich source of history along with other cultural artifacts. At the other end of the scale from buildings are coins, another material medium that has the capacity to inform history. Away from material culture, languages and lore are also artifacts that reveal the past, though reading them requires a different set of methods and skills.


History, Material Culture

History of Architecture, Socio-linguistics, History of Art

Selected Publications


[in Marathi] (with Narendra Dengle, Minal Sagare, Chetan Sahasrabuddhe, eds.), Mahārāṣṭrātīla Vāstukalā: paramparā āṇi vāṭacāla, 2 vols. (Muṃbaī: Mahārāṣṭra Rājya Sāhitya āṇi Samskṛitī Maṇḍaḷa, 2021). 

(with Torsten Tschacher, eds.), Non-Shia Practices of Muḥarram in South Asia and the Diaspora: Beyond Mourning (London: Routledge, 2021). ISBN 9780367819040

The Architecture of a Deccan Sultanate: Courtly Practice and Royal Authority in Late Medieval India (London: I.B. Tauris, 2018). ISBN 9781784537944

(with Kenneth X. Robbins), Jewish Heritage of the Deccan: Mumbai, the Northern Konkan, Pune (Mumbai: Jaico; Deccan Heritage Foundation, 2017). ISBN 9789386348661

Aurangabad with Daulatabad, Khuldabad, Ahmadnagar (Mumbai: Jaico; Deccan Heritage Foundation, 2015). ISBN 9788184957020


‘The Hunt for a Location: Narratives on the Foundation of Cities in South and Southeast Asia’ in Asian Ethnology, vol. 77, nos. 1&2 (2018), pp. 35-67.

‘The Non-issue of Coinage: The Monetary Policies of the Post-Bahmani Sultanates’ in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, vol. 28, issue 4 (October 2018), pp. 645-659. 

‘Old Fights, New Meanings: Lions and Elephants in Combat’ in Res: Anthropology and Aesthetics, vol. 67/68 (2016/2017), pp. 225-234. 

‘Marathi of a single type: the demise of the Modi script’ in Modern Asian Studies, vol. 51, issue 3 (May 2017), pp. 662-685.

‘Paper Documents and Copper Plates: Localization of Hegemonic Practices’ in Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, vol. 79, issue 1 (Feb 2016), pp. 87-101.

‘From Defended Settlements to Fortified Strongholds: Responses to Gunpowder in the Early Modern Deccan’ in South Asian Studies (British Association of South Asian Studies), vol. 31, no. 1 (Jan 2015), pp. 111-126.